Monday, June 29, 2009

The Pre-Trip Trip

In preparation for our week in St Louis, we had a whirlwind pre-trip trip in and around Wisconsin! This required lots of extra oil and strategic packing and planning, primarily by Sarah and the girls, who had all the St Louis (week long) trip clothing stored away, and still managed to scrounge up stuff that was good enough to wear in public beforehand! Whew! That left the rest of us to finish bus preparations, produce literature for our table at the home school conference, do yard work and clean the house! And I guess we had to eat three meals a day too.

We were once again blessed by time with our dear Wisconsinite brethren, in various parts of the state. First stop, the annual Rhinelander Youth Meetings! After entering town and driving around Rhinelander completely lost, which is also annual, we made it with seconds to spare for the Thursday night message, which was very well attended. Roy Daniels of South Africa was the speaker for Thursday and Friday's portion of the meetings. We only stayed through the end of Friday....too short of a visit, but worth the trip!

We were invited by dear friends to camp out at their place. Joshua and Zak were able to work on doing computery things Friday morning before the meetings, sharing things they are figuring out.

The supper is provided at the evening meeting, and it is always spectacular and plenteous! Our hosts were in charge of the potato salad. When Harmony put out the call for potato peelers, she may have gotten more than she bargained for. We enjoyed feeling helpful, and seeing how other folks make potato salad (our version has so much cider vinegar and pickle relish, it dissolves the enamel on your teeth - though we like it). Harmony uses diced radishes, which is very pretty. It was very yummy in the tummy!

Susanna is always supervised when chopping eggs, and not because she can't handle a knife! She is like mouse in charge of the cheese (or tomatoes or bell peppers). I guess the same could be said of all of us, though.

Wishing we would have brought extra peelers from home...

The boys enjoyed showing Ben and Josiah the outside of the bus. We sensed a bit of admiration, though we could be wrong.

I showed off the inside... Everyone is so gracious, and says such nice things about the bus! Here you can kind of make out the new tables that the boys put together, specifically for this trip. They feature a custom designed wall bracket, which means we don't have unsightly table legs to kick off, ripping a chunk of particle board off the underside of the table, rendering it useless. None of that. These will drop down to the same level as the benches, allowing you to pile on your bedding and children. It is so nice to have tables in the bus (as our first bus had)! Very thankful to our dear brother, Chris, who punched the holes in the metal for us.

Zak visiting with Dan and Roy, possibly about computery stuff again. Roy enjoys coming out to this little town each summer. He grew up in a Christian home, and had some very interesting and helpful things to say about false conversions...thinking you are right with God when you really aren't. He didn't use the old proverb "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a cheeseburger," but did point out some outward things that are easy to fake, but cannot save.

Our prayer is that each of our loved ones would truly know the Lord, repenting of their sin, and trusting Christ as their Savior. After all, if we could save ourselves by being "good enough", Christ died for nothing!

We had to head home Friday night, for another busy day of driving Saturday...this time near Appleton, Wisconsin...

Here is Sarah, early Saturday morning on our next happy drive, helping Sammy reading a book about fire engines on the drive. She did so much work to help us prepare with all the clothing organization, I kept finding myself thanking her repeatedly. Thanks Sarah!

This trip was in honor of the homeschool high school graduation of this young man, Daniel, pictured above (in more ways than one). Here he is enjoying a non-age-segregated game of what we used to call "captain's ball" back in California in the '70's.

Home school graduations vary, but the few we have attended always include prayer. Daniel's dad first shared a few important things, beyond the whole graduation thing. Then Daniel followed, graciously sharing how he came to know the Lord Jesus. So there wasn't much pomp, but they definately made the most of the circumstances!

Sammy seems to smile like this every day!

Can you guess what happens next?


Here are the dads talking.

As we packed up to leave, we paused for a photo, knowing it would be a little while till we had a chance to pause again!

So it was a wonderful, full weekend!

It's amazing how far you can travel with a wigged-out cam shaft position sensor! What is a cam shaft position sensor? How does it wig out? That is for another day...

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